Release Date: Nov 18, 2016
Record label: Because Music
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Club/Dance, Indie Electronic
If you thought that Justice fell off the radar, Woman is the record they're making a comeback with. Despite the wait, listeners can expect a riveting record that plays like a proper album; every song functions as well within the whole as it does as a single.As focused on cohesion as it is on quality and aesthetics, Woman is a more sensual take on the seminal sound of Justice. The record opens with "Safe And Sound," and captivates immediately.
Justice have never been ones for subtlety - that much is clear from their berserk, maximalist disco. Remember listening to the unashamed crunching bombast of ‘†’, which soldered heavy metal and dance together like it was no big deal? It was desperately cheesy and outrageously cool at the same time. They didn’t give a fuck what people thought, carrying themselves more like an arena rock band, embracing the excess and going with it.
Far from the brawny swagger of their acclaimed 2007 debut, †, Justice’s Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay describe their third album, Woman, as a collection of songs for earnest, lovelorn guys who don’t understand why a romantic interest won’t return their calls. The album finds the duo capturing the rapture and agony that can accompany unrequited love. Contrast defines Woman, a far sunnier album than you might expect from Justice, but one which doesn’t fully abandon the sweat and pulse of nightlife.
It's been almost a decade since French electronic duo Justice unleashed their debut record on the world – potentially grim reading for readers old enough to remember that. In Justice's defence, the Parisian act never over-saturated themselves, only releasing three albums in nine years (lest we forget: 2007's † and 2011's Audio, Video, Disco precede this new offering). It's a nice surprise to have them back, and even nicer to find the duo have retained their pleasurable take on industrial-infused electronica, with 70s disco touches.
French duo Justice’s debut, 2007’s †, is very much a product of its time. The hard electro beats and abrasive riffs slotted in perfectly with the likes of Kitsune and Ed Banger compilations while also appealing to fans of dance-influenced indie acts such as Klaxons or purer electronic artists like Simian Mobile Disco. Putting dance music structure aside for a more live, band sounding approach, the follow up, 2011’s Audio, Video, Disco proved to be more substantial.
Stylish nostalgia is the pan et beurre of a lot of French dance music, including -- for better and worse -- Justice's third album. Arriving five years after Audio, Video, Disco, Woman is built on layers of fondly remembered vintage funk and disco, pre-EDM French Touch, and Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay's own work. The duo lead with the most broadly appealing side of their music: with its choral vocals and popping bass, "Safe and Sound" sounds like a slowed-down version of "D.A.N.C.E." with a hint of roller disco, while the gleaming synths and chugging rhythms of "Alakazam!" and "Fire" keep going like perpetual-motion party machines.
Collectively known as Justice, French electronic musicians Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay have been laying relatively low for the five years since releasing their 2011 sophomore effort, Audio, Video, Disco. Widely known for 2007 smash single “D.A.N.C.E.”, the duo catapulted to international recognition and consequently coasted on the success of debut album † (Cross) for quite some time. On third third proper full-length, Woman, Justice recapture their seminal sound for 10 strong new tracks.
Woman—the new third album from French electronic duo Justice—is frustrating; rather like the rest of their records. The stellar album cover sets up for the right vibe when going in—it’s spacey and sleek, a colorful advancement ahead of their prior two albums—and it’s cool to finally hear something that seems it was made post-Daft Punk’s R.A.M. However, the color that is added to their tunes here doesn’t feel particularly colorful, especially when coupled with some of the album’s other faults.
The year was 2007. It was June, the height of summer; a typically rain-drenched British summer. Perhaps fittingly, Rihanna’s Umbrella was dominating the charts, the dancefloors, and the absent-minded tootling of bored office workers around the country. We needed a shake-up. And we needed one ….
Heralded by a series of unannounced DJ sets around Europe, this third Justice album might just be the sort of escapist sweat-fest party people sorely need right now. Safe and Sound, the album’s opener, comes garlanded with 70s-era violin swirls, courtesy of the London Contemporary Orchestra; throughout, vintage discoid shapes combine with the pounding of dance-rock and lashings of the aerated funk perfected in Paris in the 90s. Naturally, this mix has its cheesier iterations.
As any genre’s unofficial 10-year grace period allows, it is now acceptable to be nostalgic for mid-2000s electro, which exploded around the time of Justice’s first album, Cross, in 2007. It had its lineage in Daft Punk’s filtered house but added the brash swagger of rock. Justice’s remix of Simian Mobile Disco’s We Are Your Friends defined nightlife; their Parisian label Ed Banger was the hippest crew.
Justice’s 2007 debut album, †, was expertly engineered for breakthrough success, delivering massive hooks with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. That said, they also had an impeccable sense of timing. Shortly after reigniting public interest in their catalog with the landmark Alive 2007 tour, Daft Punk—Justice’s direct antecedents—largely powered down until the release of 2013’s Random Access Memories.
Certainly no one could accuse Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay of rushing a record. The pair behind Justice took four years between albums one and two, and then five years between albums two and three. For those that were disappointed by that second— 2011’s Audio, Video, Disco — then it is best to keep your hopes low for the brand new LP, Woman.
Justice are always at their best when their concepts are clearly defined. Their second outing, 2011’s Audio, Video, Disco, wasn’t a bad album per se, it just suffered from a lack of direction. There was some kind of plan in place, presumably to channel Goblin, King Crimson and other ornamental 70s rock behemoths through the medium of electronic music and turn everything up to eleven; what we got was a form of musical libertarianism run riot.
Justice 'Woman' (Ed Banger Records)When it comes to duos, Busy P must have some sort of magic radar that picks out pairings that will go on to cause worldwide uproar. Daft Punk, Cassius and Justice have all found their way to the top with Pedro’s backing, with the latter now releasing their third album after an agonising five-year wait. Their no-holds-barred approach to music-making won them global plaudits, but will they ever make an album like 2007’s ‘Cross’ again?If ‘Woman’ is anything to go by then we’re not sure – but that doesn’t mean the quality has been sacrificed.
In 2008 Justice released A Cross The Universe, a documentary about their three-week US tour, complete with arrests, a drunken quickie wedding (Augé is still technically married in the state of Nevada) and a gun-toting manager. It looked like they were driving themselves slowly insane. Watching it, you might not have guessed that they’d release a collection of perfectly formed disco bangers in 2016, yet ‘Woman’ is a joyous album of hope and optimism.
As we prepare to publish our Year-End lists (hit: it's coming very, very soon), that doesn't mean we'd still ignore our regularly scheduled Quick Takes feature. Carl and I, however, do have to acknowledge that because of the madness that goes behind-the-scenes this time of year, this month's will ….
Justice is back with an electro house follow-up to their electro house follow-up to their electro house debut. As their records have gone on, their personality and pop has been shaved off and streamlined to the point of becoming a background music perfect for commercials. The duo have lost me here on there third record. Justice started out as a poor man’s Daft Punk.